NFC West Division Odds
Will the Seahawks repeat as NFC West Division champs in 2017? Oddsmakers must believe so.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Seahawks are 5/19 favorites to win the NFC West in 2017. The Cardinals have the next-best odds at 3/1, followed by the Rams at 20/1 and the 49ers at 35/1.
Following their exit in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the Seahawks set out to improve their offensive line. The team signed former first overall pick Luke Joeckel to play right guard and hope youngsters Justin Britt and Germain Ifedi take another step in development. Quarterback Russell Wilson, meanwhile, lost weight this offseason in hopes to be more athletic. The team added Eddie Lacy in free agency to compete with Thomas Rawls, Alex Collins and CJ Prosise in a crowded backfield. With the return of a healthy Earl Thomas, the defense will once again be a strength.
The Cardinals' fate will be largely determined by the play of Carson Palmer, who struggled for most of 2016 before finishing the season strong. Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson and John Brown return, but if Palmer struggles than so will Arizona. At least the defense figures to be solid again. Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, Patrick Petersen and Tyrann Mathieu all return.
Los Angeles Rams
Despite some naïve media pundits that insist the Rams are ready to hit their stride, Los Angeles figures to stink again in 2017. The team has a new head coach in Sean McVay, but the roster is devoid of talent. Jared Goff could struggle again, as could Todd Gurley behind a shaky offensive line. The defense will be okay, but this isn't the same dominant unit that it was in St. Louis. The Rams would be fortunate to win four games this season.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers will also have a new look thanks to the hiring of Kyle Shanahan. This is another team in this division that simply doesn't have the talent to compete, although the Niners do have some building blocks in Carlos Hyde and DeForest Buckner, as well as rookies Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster. While new GM John Lynch was praised for an excellent draft, at some point the team will need to upgrade the quarterback position if Shanahan is to succeed long term. For now, Brian Hoyer will likely start under center.